Officine Brera opens in the new Arts District, close to the recently demolished 6th Street Bridge in Downtown Los Angeles. The restaurant may be a little challenging to find, but just follow your nose – the smoky wood burning grills will lead you to the large valet parking lot, next to the gun club. The large glass and metal industrial space is operated by Matteo Fernandi with Chefs Angelo Auriana and Mirko Paderno of Factory Kitchen, located just a few miles away.
Officine Brera offers a smart list of uniquely selected wines as well as more traditional cocktails and the Northern Italian menu has an updated flair with house cured lardo, head cheese and Heritage Pork cured salami. I recommend the Mesin con Salam or cheese & charcuterie board, to get an overall sampling of both meats and cheeses.
But, the real reason to dine at Officine Brera, is the Risotto. The Bassa Padana made with two kinds of pork sausage (Luganega Rope Sausage and Cotechino) and Grana Padano cheese was perfectly executed. The al dente Canaroli kernels along with the velvety sauce, set this risotto apart from most in Los Angeles. It brought me back to Milan last September, where I had some of the worlds best.
As for entrees, the wood grill and spit are comfortably utilized in Officine Brera with an array of fish and meat selections. The Mediterranean Seabass with Roasted Potatoes and Asparagus were grilled and presented whole, then deboned and brought back to the table. The fish had a magnificent crispy skin, though the flavors simple, it was divine.
Dessert should definitely not be skipped – the Nougatine Semifreddo with chocolate sauce & cherries was old world creative. I loved the presentation of the individual molded rounds of fluffy frozen cream.
Officine Brera is a great new dining experience in Los Angeles and upon arrival at 6:00 p.m, the place was already packed, so make your reservation.